Microsoft resellers have enjoyed a sales bonanza as a result of the software giant's new licensing policy, the deadline for which passed on 31 July.
From the beginning of this month Microsoft's most popular discount model, Upgrade Advantage, has been replaced by Licensing 6.0. Users will now have to purchase full licences to qualify for software upgrades.
Dave Simpson, sales and marketing director at Microsoft reseller Softcat, explained that sales rocketed as users rushed to beat the deadline.
"It went mad," he said. "We expected to do £12m in the last two months and we did £17m. All the ones who sat on the fence went for it in the end and take-up was across the board."
Simpson confirmed that Softcat signed up around 150 Select agreements, 150 Open Subscription agreements and "masses" of Software Assurance licences.
Distributors also reported a rush as resellers tried to meet demand.
Andy Cakebread, head of marketing at distributor Ingram Micro, said: "We've put additional resources into our licensing team in expectation of the take-up, and we have been processing orders into the evenings. We've seen at least a six-fold increase and across all sizes of customer."
Alex Tatham, vice president of global software distribution at Ideal Hardware, which stayed open until midnight on 31 July, claimed that the company had done three times the normal level of business for this time of year, at around £20m.
"It is a real bonanza and fabulous for the industry," he said. "A lot of resellers will have done very well out of it."
But he warned that resellers which had not told their customers about the changes would lose business.
"There will be some resellers which did not make the effort to tell customers about the changes and those customers will not be very forgiving when they find out how much it has cost them," said Tatham.
Microsoft UK licensing manager Sue Page praised the channel for working tirelessly to help communicate the changes to end users.
"We are pleased with the levels of activity we have seen, not only in the last week but in the last couple of months," she said.
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